When you set up the light fixtures for your store, every part of your design should accomplish a goal. All too often, stores don’t put any thought into their retail lighting, which leads to inefficient lighting, a poor store environment and wasted money. As you plan your lighting design, you need to consider:
- Human Needs = balancing clear lighting with a pleasant environment.
- Economic and environmental benefits = saving money and reducing pollution.
- Architectural Efficiency = using your store space well.
The priority of each goal depends on your personal preferences, but the best possible lighting design for your store would be able to achieve all three.
Goal # 1 – Setting up Interior Retail Lighting that is Bright and Pleasant for Others
Why are you setting up store light fixtures in the first place? So your customers and staff can see what they are looking at in your store. While this is pretty obvious, you would be surprised how many managers forget to think about this purpose when they set up their lighting design. Is it any surprise why they encounter issues?
Human needs are a balance between clear visibility and comfort. Clear visibility comes from proper ambient lighting. A well-lit store makes it easy for people to look around and find merchandise on their own. It also makes people feel safe in your store.
Comfort and attraction comes from your accent lighting. People rate a store atmosphere to be most pleasant when there is contrast in the lighting; some areas are brighter than others. You can see these goals are a bit conflicting and you need to lean towards one or the other. Bigger stores should be more focused on visibility while smaller stores benefit more by creating a contrasting, attractive environment.
Goal #2 – Protecting the Earth and Your Bottom LineThrough Energy Efficient Lighting
If you set up your lighting design effectively, every light fixture has a purpose. This means your store uses the least possible number of fixtures to get the best possible results. A poor lighting design wastes time and energy by using too many light fixtures.
The more light fixtures your store uses, the more your energy bill will cost each month. In addition, more fixtures increase the chance that lamps will need to be replaced each month. The unnecessary use of energy and throwing out lamps also takes a toll on the environment.
This doesn’t mean you should remove light fixtures from your store; if a fixture has a clear purpose, it should be used. However, by avoiding wasteful lighting, you are making both a good economic and environmental decision.
Goal #3 – Making the Most Out of Every Inch of Your Interior Retail Layout
The final goal of your lighting design is to make an efficient use of your store’s architecture. As you set up your light fixtures, you should consider the challenge of reaching each location. If a fixture is in a very tricky spot to reach, it’s going to be a real problem to both set up and replace. Try to avoid difficult locations, if possible. If a tricky spot is necessary, use long lasting lamps like LEDs to reduce maintenance issues.
A good store design, in terms of architecture, also uses a layered approach to the three types of store lighting: general, accent, and decorative. While the types you focus on depend on your target market and the needs of your store, the best architectural lighting designs use at least a little of all three types of lighting.
As you plan the lighting for your store, always keep these three goals in mind. If you can set up your lighting to accomplish all three, you have created a lighting design that surpasses that of your competitors.
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